Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prince - mad or masterful?

If you haven't heard already, Prince has announced that the internet is dead. In particular, for the music industry.

This legend of the musical world has basically come out and publicly stated that he is mad. Here are a few of his quotes, so you can place some context to this situation.

"The internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it.

"The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good.

"They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

Already, commentators and media have jumped all over this story saying Prince is grossly out of touch with the world and some kind of neo-luddite. And, taken at face value they'd be perfectly entitled to that opinion.

However, there could be another possibility happening here. 

Prince, an artist who hasn't had a pop-hit himself (he's certainly written them for others) for a number of years releases an album for free via a handful of newspapers and magazines who pay him big money to do so. He's done this before, so this isn't huge news and isn't going to ramp up any potential hype. BUT, what if Prince did something scandalous...would that make people take notice? Would that drive sales of these papers? Would that get his music heard when it is quite possibly itself out of touch to all but his most loyal fans? (see football song: 

Just watch all the press he gets today along with, I bet, a boost in sales of Raspberry Beret, Purple Rain and blog posts about his new album.

This guy could certainly be mad, but he could also be a master of the art of marketing.

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